I can't believe I neglected to mention this until now, but I got a call back from my doctor on my hormone levels and DEXA scan....
|My busted femur.|
All normal! I cannot begin to express how relieved I am that my bones are healthy. Bone health is something I have absolutely taken for granted, and had I not suffered my femoral stress fracture I never would have given it a second thought.
I have many risk factors for poor bone health: low calcium in diet (lactose intolerant), history of eating disorder, former smoker, low body weight, being female, and irregular periods. I am so lucky to have been given this second chance to make changes to improve my chances at having strong bones for life. All of you runners should google this phrase. "female athlete triad". Just do it.
And read this, it's scary:
"Peak bone mass is the point when you have the greatest amount of bone you will ever have. Peak bone mass usually happens between the ages of 18 and 25. By age 18, bone density is nearly complete. Young adults may continue to gain a small amount of additional bone until about age 25.
Having higher peak bone mass means that you are less likely to break a bone or to get osteoporosis later in life. On the other hand, having lower peak bone mass increases your chance of getting osteoporosis. This is because women with low peak bone mass have low bone density. All women lose bone density after menopause and later in life. For women who start with lower peak bone mass, this age-related bone loss is more likely to lead to osteoporosis." (source: National Osteoporosis Foundation)
If you enter into the bone-mass-declining years (my bad for the gratuitous use of hyphen) at a defecit, you ARE NEVER GOING TO REGAIN THAT BONE MASS. That is scary. Like Halloween scary.
Actually, here's a scarier picture for you. Because of all of the Fosamax and Boniva commercials showing pretty old ladies smiling blithely as they pluck cucumbers from their gardens, I guess I have been conditioned to think of osteoporosis as a relatively benign condition that happens to a lot of ladies. WRONG! This shit is SERIOUS. Look at this picture, and imagine it's your bones.
|Pretty horrific, right?|
And because I'm self-important enough to author a blog all about yours truly, let's get to the really important question - what does all of this mean for me? ha.
I'm now taking supplements. I shoot for 1,200 mg calcium, 2,000 IU Vitamin D, and 500mg magnesium. I drink fortified OJ and lots of dark chocolate almond milk (pretty sure the dark chocolate part is what helps), am back to weightlifting regularly, and making sure my weight is conducive to healthy periods.
It also means I can start thinking about rehabbing from my injury... and I can talk about RUNNING again! This is a running blog, remember?